Political insight The Brexit story continues…

Editor: Ahlam Rais

This year has witnessed many new developments with regards to Brexit. MM International recaps all the significant moves of this vital political situation for its readers. Read on to know more…

The new date for the UK to leave the EU is January 31, 2020.
The new date for the UK to leave the EU is January 31, 2020.
(Source: Deposit Photos)

High drama, numerous resignations, change of Prime Ministers and various parliamentary sessions – this is Brexit.

It all began in 2016 yet four years later the Brexit story still continues. This year, the UK was scheduled to leave the EU for good however, things did not go as planned. The former UK Prime Minister Theresa May struggled to get the Brexit deal ratified three times by the British Parliament in the first half of the year but concerns over the UK remaining in the customs union through the backstop and the potential disparity between Northern Ireland and the UK did not allow the deal to pass through which further pushed the Brexit deadline to October 2019. The EU strongly stated that the UK will have to leave the EU by the said deadline with our without a deal.

Rise of Boris Johnson

Looking at the grim situation, a general election was held. In June Theresa May resigned and the Conservative party leader Boris Johnson was elected as the new Prime Minister of the UK. On the Brexit issue, Boris had said, “So we are getting ready to come out on October the 31st. Come what may . . . Do or die. Come what may.”

In August, the new PM asked the Queen to suspend the Parliament for five weeks in the run-up to 31 October. The MPs were taken aback at the request of a prorogation and unanimously agreed that the move was being undertaken to give MPs less time to try to block no-deal before the deadline. As the prorogation process began in the British Parliament, the opposition carried signs of ‘silenced’ and cried out ‘shame on you’ as government MPs left the house. Post this move, in September the UK Supreme Court deemed the PM’s prorogation as unlawful following which the MPs returned to parliament.

Negotiating terms

In October, Johnson sent out a formal proposal to the EU regarding his alternative to the Irish backstop. According to news reports, the proposals would leave the UK in the same customs territory as the EU, and would keep Northern Ireland under EU regulations until a permanent trade deal was reached. However, this was not acceptable to the EU. The Parliament also refused his deal following which Johnson requested for a three-month extension from the EU for Brexit. This means that the new date for the UK to leave the EU is January 31, 2020.

New Brexit date: January 2020

However, before this date, the UK will be preparing for its general election on December 12, 2019. Now it has to be seen if Boris Johnson will win by a majority and if not what will this mean for the Brexit development? Whatever the result, it looks like the UK is heading for more drama over the coming months.

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